Thursday, 30 January 2014
Review: Knightley and Son by Rohan Gavin
Publisher: Bloomsbury Children's Books
Format: Paperback / eBook
Released: January 2nd, 2014
Meet Knightley and Son - two great detectives for the price of one . . . Darkus Knightley is not your average thirteen-year-old: ferociously logical, super-smart and with a fondness for tweed, detective work is in his blood. His dad Alan Knightley was London's top private investigator and an expert in crimes too strange for Scotland Yard to handle, but four years ago the unexplained finally caught up with him - and he fell into a mysterious coma. Darkus is determined to follow in his father's footsteps and find out what really happened. But when Alan suddenly wakes up, his memory is wonky and he needs help. The game is afoot for Knightley & Son - with a mystery that gets weirder by the minute, a bestselling book that makes its readers commit terrible crimes, and a sinister organisation known as the Combination...
Knightley and Son is a fun book for the 9-12 age range, but it wasn't quite my cup of tea. I liked certain elements, Darkus Knightley especially, but overall I didn't connect with the story or the characters and found it difficult to finish. That's not to say it's a bad book, because it isn't, it just didn't engage me as much as I thought it would.
There's a clever mystery at the heart of Knightley and Son, one that involves a bestselling book, terrible crimes and the dark streets of London. It's all very Sherlock Holmes, in that there's an air of humour in an otherwise serious situation. I think this aspect of the book will resonate with younger readers, and maybe they'll even be inspired to check out Arthur Conan Doyle's works!
Darkus is by far my favourite part of the whole book, mainly because he's so quintessentially British. He speaks very well and has a great love for tweed, similar to his father, the highly thought of Alan Knightley. Together they make Knightley and Son, a team of highly trained, intelligent private investigators who can solve any case - the weirder the better!
I have no doubt that Knightley and Son will do well with it's intended audience, and I'm glad I gave it a go. For me it was a bit slow, but it does pick up near the end and comes to an exciting conclusion. Do give this one a go if you like mysteries set in the heart of a foggy, atmospheric London, and don't forget to keep Darkus on speed dial. You never know when you might need him...